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Painting the town green: Bouctouche, New Brunswick

© By Lori McNulty
  Bouctouche, New Brunswick Long before "going green" was consumer cool, the small Acadian town of Bouctouche, NB, was quietly building a haven to eco-tourism. I imagine a warm breeze from my bench overlooking the Bouctouche River, while black ducks nibble at my lunch. Behind me, a world-famous natural sand dune shifts with the wind. This is definitely a place I could call home. And nearly 2,400 folks do.
     The town came together more than a decade ago to preserve its dunes and follow green tourist practices. Local B&Bs even joined Ecovision, a program dedicated to environmental sustainability. And guess what? The world was watching.
     Bouctouche was a finalist in the "Best Destination" category for the prestigious Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Award 2008. The town was "highly commended" for breathing new life into a community by building a thriving economy based on sustainable tourism. It's just one of the town's many accolades in recent years.

Irving Eco-Centre
Along the boardwalk of the Irving Eco-Centre: La Dune de Boutouche, you can smell the salt air. Before you spot shore, you'll hear the bell whistle of the endangered piping plover. Watch these birds bounce across sand, then swoop among dunes stretching 12 km (7.5 mi) across Bouctouche Bay. Fresh tracks, 2,000 year-old dunes.

Tree museum
If I could be any animal, I'd be a tree instead. And I would live in the Irving Arboretum where 5,000 indigenous trees-from silver birch to sugar maple-spread their limbs out in the sun. Of course, I'd make friends with flowers and bushes, too.

Le Pays de la Sagouine
Before it was a wildly successful attraction, it was a book. The fictional characters of renowned Acadian author Antonine Maillet come alive in Le Pays de la Sagouine. Her characters-fiddlers and fishermen, clairvoyants and cooks-roam about this tiny island bringing you into the heart of Acadian village life. It's la belle vie Acadien, complete with live theatre and Acadian cuisine.

More around Bouctouche:
Bouctouche Farmers Market, for fresh produce, local crafts and amazing gardening advice.
La Ferme Maury (Les vins de l'Acadie), the first co-operative cottage winery in New Brunswick.
Acadian Coastal Drive, where you can pull over to swim-perfect saltwater beaches and take in the natural beauty of stunning Chaleur Bay.

British Columbia-based freelance writer and photographer Lori McNulty journeys the globe to connect life and landscape. Her award-winning travel and arts essays uncover striking landscapes and soulful adventure. Contact her at lorilegba@hotmail.com.

Photo Credits
Courtesy of the Canadian Tourism Commission

If you go
Bouctouche, New Brunswick
as seen on
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bouctouche
Wikitravel: http://wikitravel.org/en/Acadian_Coast
Tourism New Brunswick: www.tourismnewbrunswick.ca
Bouctouche: http://www.bouctouche.ca/site

What's happening, money, distance, time?
Media Guide: http://www.abyznewslinks.com/
Currency conversion: http://www.xe.com/ucc/
Distance calculator: http://www.indo.com/distance/
Time zone converter: http://www.timezoneconverter.com/

Transportation, visas, health, maps and temperature
Airlines (Wikipedia): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_airlines
Embassies/Consulates (Embassy World): http://www.embassyworld.com/
Health precautions (WHO): http://www.who.int/ith/en/
Google interactive map: http://maps.google.com/
Temperature (Temperature World): http://www.temperatureworld.com/


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